Flu season creates busy period for Lismore
IT WAS a busy few months for Lismore Base Hospital staff, with the regional centre seeing a more than 6 per cent increase in emergency patients.
According to a newly released Bureau of Health Information report for the July-September 2019 period, the longest flu season in NSW since the 2009 pandemic was a significant contributor to record numbers of emergency department presentations across the state.
The report shows Lismore Base Hospital had their busiest quarter on record, with an increase of 6.5 per cent on the same quarter last year, jumping to 10,189 emergency department presentations.
Northern NSW Local Health District staff were kept busy across all hospitals in the region, after the district experienced its second busiest quarter on record, with 54,559 emergency department presentations.
This is an increase of 3,333 patients, or 6.5 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
NNSWLHD chief executive Wayne Jones said increases in demand were being experienced right across the district, with every hospital recording a jump in activity.
“This is not a case of huge outliers pushing averages up, but big increases across the board,” Mr Jones said.
“Every single one of our hospitals had increases in emergency presentations and the number of ambulances arriving.”
The district also recorded a 24.6 per cent rise in triage category 1 or resuscitation presentations, the most urgent category for patients arriving at the emergency department. There were 8,433 ambulance arrivals, 634 more than the same quarter in 2018.
Despite the large increase in emergency presentations, 78.3 per cent of patients were seen, treated, and left the ED within four hours, something Mr Jones said was significantly better than the state average of 68.1 per cent.
Mr Jones praised the commitment of staff to delivering excellent care throughout the increased activity.
“Even with more people coming through our doors, we’re still among the top performing local health districts,” he said.
“Our staff should be very proud of their efforts.”
How did Lismore perform compared to other local hospitals?
Lismore and Grafton hospitals both had their busiest quarter on record, with 10,189 and 6,893 ED presentations respectively.
Mr Jones said out of the eight sites in the district recorded increases of more than five per cent for emergency department presentations on the same quarter last year.
- Casino District and Memorial Hospital: 24.6 per cent increase to 3,761.
- Ballina District Hospital: 7.6 per cent increase to 4,482.
- Byron Central Hospital: 7.4 per cent increase to 5,103.
- Maclean District Hospital: 17.7 per cent increase to 3,540.
- Tweed Hospital: 11.4 per cent to 13,648.
- Murwillumbah District Hospital: 5.2 per cent increase to 4,719.
- Grafton Base Hospital: 3.6 per cent increase to 6,893.